In the last few decades, incubators have sprung up in the tech industry.  By now, there are about 6,000 companies which were hosted by incubators during startup.  The number of entrepreneurs who are convinced once they hear about successful graduates of incubators is growing fast.

As I have mentioned in my blog last December, incubators are all the range these days and startups in general are even bigger. It still seems that many people are into creating their own business and be called the founder.  Yes, it is beginning to be a well-known truth nowadays.  However, a new businessman should assess his capabilities and see how his plans for his new company can be put into action.  Without any or little resources, a startup business might as well seek the help of an incubator.

Let me tell you the very basic reason why startups should seek support from an incubator like Ab Dev Labs.

I do not mean to sound very noble or anything but I am pretty sure that this is not about the financial capacity of an incubator to support a startup.  It may be one of the reasons but not as tantamount to what we believe in.

Firstly, AB Dev Labs is a cooperative incubator for startups.

Startups can join the cooperative by contributing cash, equity and/or time on our projects.  In return for their contributions, AB Dev Labs supports the startups with its onshore and offshore teams of software developers, digital designers, project managers, growth hackers, brand marketers, and support service providers (accounting, legal, etc.)

Now let me take you back to the essence of this blog post.  What is the most important value we can offer?

Expert mentoring

In my view, it is the best value which new entrepreneurs can learn from.  Successful incubators have potential manpower.  They are equipped with strong leadership and staff with top credentials.  It is a common mistake to rely on an incubator which only offers space and facilities.  For me, every new businessman should skip those kinds of incubators.

We are a cooperative incubator in a different sense as well.  We have cross-functioning teams in different places of the globe, resulting in specialized and focused tasks, 24-hour work cycles, and documented best practices applied to all projects.

We are a collaboration of the best minds and resources.  To better understand the attributes of a startup incubator like ours, visit our project sites.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 23, 2013   0


Startups have fairly significant meanings to many people. Some may imagine it to be a group of entrepreneurs collaborating on a project to launch a new product. Others may perceive it as simply two men discussing the first stages of developing a mobile app. Some definitions may not be exactly how one should describe a startup. Regardless of how you define a startup business or company, there are certain terminologies that you might want to familiarize yourself with to better understand the startup world.

This list features 9 commonly used terms and their definitions. Brief explanations are also included to outline how each term is an integral factor to the success or failure of startups.

1. ACTIONABLE METRICS: measurements that tie specific and repeatable actions to observed results. The opposite of actionable metrics are vanity metrics which only serve to document the current state of the product but offer no actionable insight.

2. COST TO ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS: cost spent to convince people to use your product. This includes SEO, SEM, PR, Social Marketing, direct sales, channel sales, etc.

3. CUSTOMER DEVELOPMENT: the umbrella strategy strategy of how to organize sales, marketing and business development for a new product or company.

4. GO-TO-MARKET STRATEGY: a plan to bring products or services to customers and how the plan changes over time

5. INCUBATOR: an organization which provides resources to nurture young companies, helping them to survive and grow during the startup period when they are most vulnerable. Resources provided may include business strategy, investor introduction, sales and marketing, legal and accounting, office space, etc.

6. LEAN STARTUP: an organization designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

[from Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.

7. MARKET VALIDATION: finding out if there are enough people out there willing to pay for your product.


8. MINIMUM VIABLE PRODUCT (MVP): the most pared down version of a product that can still be released. An MVP has three key characteristics:

a. It has enough value that people are willing to use it or buy it initially

b. It demonstrates enough future benefit to retain early adopters

c. It provides a feedback loop to guide future development


9. PIVOT: is a special kind of change designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, business model, and engine of growth.

[from Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses.]

Posted in Uncategorized on February 20, 2013   0


Incubators are all the range these days and startups in general are even bigger.  Everyone wants to create a business and be THE FOUNDER  and be THE BIG GUY.  The startup world is the silicon valley or alley is based on “all-stars”.  The hype is enormous with numerous competitions: Tech Stars, Pitch Games, Fund Raising Numbers, and now a real life TV show.    The idea of course is simple:  small, lean and nimble – take no prisoners Jack Bauer style startups —  can win big in these games.

AB Dev Labs goes the other direction from the hype.  We want to build super teams rather than have 1 or 2 super star individuals.   We have a cooperative incubator that accepts new projects in return for some exchange of money, equity, and your own time.     Yes, your own time on our projects.  That’s the crucial difference between us and other incubators.  We don’t just want your ideas and your own project — we want you to join our teams.   You get brought into our incubator by wining enough of our team members.

Another aspect of our coop model is a hybrid model for development.    We work together with offshore developers and pair them with onshore development.   We pair offshore marketing with onshore marketing.  The idea is help optimize the lean startup process by building things faster.   We also share knowledge between our onshore teams and offshore teams, so we teach what we learn.  They get better, we get better.

The advantage of our model is it brings a larger set of resources to bear towards the goal of making products successful.  Both the very big companies and the very small, highly successful Startups already have people there to help.  The small startups use a huge network of friends, advisors, and just people to help on every problem.  Big companies maintain a large cadre of internal specialists to worry about everything from interesting Computer-Science problems, to lawyers, and to great sales staff.  We’re going to build a large collective of teams who want to build many great startups.

The next decade we predict will come from larger collectives that try to innovate.   It’s going to be more difficult to be a lone wolf – Jack Bauer entrepreneur.  We see how large companies have been very successful at running large projects (IPhone, Microsoft Windows, the Google Search).   And we also see how innovation from elite co-founder/startups leads to great things.  But the times are changing and the landscape is becoming more crowded and more difficult.   Everyone and their friends are quitting large companies to hit it out on their own.

So we have developers who can build stuff.  We have growth hackers ready to market it.  And we have designers ready to finish a design.  And we want to build great teams of people to work together on startups.    If you are interested in joining us with your ideas or working with us, drop me an email.

Posted in Cofounding, Startups on December 12, 2012   0


I sometimes find myself sitting with business folks, trying to hire more tech people.  And it recently struck me how the business pitch does not always match the technology pitch.  The business pitch typically is extremely positive, well thought out and involves a clear set of reasons why working for them is a great idea.  It involves a list of business priorities, customers and finally the “isn’t it fabulous mass potential – just wait for it — idea”.  For example, I’m building this incredible dating site for farmers and it has the potential to rock this world.   Or I’m doing a great interactive interview, video site – and, by the way, it will be a Billion dollar business in a year.  Usually, it’s followed by, “by the way you have to work for free and yea, we really want someone to be excited like us on this idea so you spend every waking moment thinking like us. “

That’s the wrong pitch for developers.   Developers need something to work for.  That “something” is usually: a) Nerdy,  b) Good Karma, c) Fun, or d) Money.

Maybe it’s because we’re nerds.  For example, let’s build that next search engine, a flying robot that hacks into WiFi traffic,   or we’re going to build that high-performance big data system.   And if not’s going to be nerdy, then we might do it for good.  Let’s go build a micropayments system that helps poor in India – then we’ll open source it so others can help folks in Africa.  And of course, it has to be fun.  Building your own game where you shoot zombies — that’s fun.

If it’s not nerdy, there is no goodness to it, and well it’s not all that fun, then you’re going have to pay a developer.  Sorry.  Developers understand that they can get paid and a lot if they want.  We were collecting money since we started coding at 15.

This is not to say a business person can’t pitch and hire developers.  It’s just they need to focus on the right pitch.  The part about building the dating site for farmers: talk to the fun of it, the good karma in helping lonely farmers in Iowa, and well the challenge in handling the scaling issues when 2 million farmers log in to check their profiles before harvest.  The video site business guy should talk about the new protocol they have to build to handle the unique demands.

Finally, make sure to pay something.  If it’s in return for future payout, developers tend to be good at Math and they know the statistics of winning the lottery as well as the chances of hitting it big on farmer dating.   Make sure there is money involved or an equal trade in resources for money.  Lastly, treat the developer as equally as possible.  Everyone is part of a team together, they may even have a better dating site idea.

Posted in Cofounding, Startups on October 18, 2012   2


It’s often funny, when I realize how many software algorithms are things we do naturally in every day life.    I suspect that people do these things every day without realizing.   Today’s blog post, I’m just writing a few down that I’ve noticed.    Others have noticed the everyday patterns as well:

When I was 6-year child, I came up with the obvious “find-mommy-in-the-supermarket” algorithm.   Once I lost my mother, I would immediately find an edge/wall in the store.  Then I would walk straight along the wall looking forward and to my side down aisles.    If I completed two edges without finding my mom, I would continue along the next wall, since typically it meant a slight chance that my mother was between two aisles exactly at the moment I was sighting.    Since she usually continued to shop i.e. move, I could be almost certain to find her on the next iteration.

  1. Assume: You are in an Aisle
  2. Start: Look behind and infront of you
  3. Find first edge/wall & corner of the store
  4. Traverse the edge of store looking at each aisle
    1. Sighting down the  aisle,
    2. Sighting forward/back
  5. If you reach the far-corner without finding “mom”, turn the corner and go to #4.

Later in University while studying Computer Science, I lived in a campus dorm room overlooking an enormous parking lot.  The early morning, weekday parking lot was almost completely empty.  Between 9am and 10am it would fill completely in a simple stack-like manner.  The later cars would add themselves to the very end of the parking lot furthest away from the buildings.   But by 3pm, the pattern would start to reserve itself.  The far end of the parking lot was completely full, but closer spots, some at the building entrances themselves, would be empty.  Finally by 5pm, the lot would become heavily fragmented throughout.

Since it was a large lot, I could write a simple algorithm to optimize the combined walking/driving time of a driver.

  • Before 9am, drive to the entrance of the buildings and park closest
  • After 10am, drive towards the entrance of the buildings and park at the last empty spot
  • After 3pm, begin a O(n) search of the lot, visiting each spot until you find a spot
  • After 5pm, drive down one lane of the lot picking the closest spot you find to a building
  • Evening, drive to the entrance of the buildings and park closest

I later noticed another pattern at meetings with larger audiences.   Often times the back would fill with standing room only crowd, but the middle and front would be filled with scattered empty seats.   Curious, has anyone ever noticed this as well?  Did you ever notice how people tend to pick edges and back seats, preferring to stand rather than sit in the middle/front?


Posted in Random on September 27, 2012   0